No Pain, No Gain?

"No pain, no gain". But of course, we don't feel the pain when we buy that new shade of lipstick, or try that new long-lasting shampoo. We aren't tortured when we try out that new kitchen cleaner. But millions of animals are. And the results aren't even reliable. The results are tested on ANIMALS, who would obviously have a different reaction to chemicals than we would. Oh, the dogs don't get sick from that mascara, so humans must not as well. So, other than rarely being reliable, is animal testing necessary? Wait a second...what IS animal testing?

Animal testing, also known as animal experimentation, animal research, and in vivo testing (Latin for "within the living"), is the use of animals in experiments. These experiments can be conducted for many reasons, from medicine research, to studying effects of a cosmetic product. According to multiple sites, it is estimated that, worldwide, up to 100 million of vertebrae animals - from zebrafish to primates - are used annually for experimentation. And that's just the vertebrae portion. Invertebrates, mice, rats, birds, fish, frogs, and animals not yet weaned are not included in the figures. Also, it seems the most commonly used animals are mice and rats - and they're not even included in the estimated 100 million animals that are used for testing! Think about that for a second. If you are familiar with animal testing, or have heard of it, the term "lab-rat" may come to your mind. And then you probably picture a maze with a block of cheese. In reality, mice get injected with tumors, and are often found dead many days post-mortem! Some may say "rats and mice don't have feelings" or "they're just little rodents." So, okay, maybe those little creatures don't pique your interest. Let's talk about the other victims. According to the organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), millions of rabbits, primates, cats, dogs (yes, millions of little Fidos and Lassies), "and other animals are locked inside cold, barren cages in laboratories across the country. They languish in pain, ache with loneliness, and long to roam free and use their minds. Instead, all they can do is sit and wait in fear of the next terrifying and painful procedure that will be performed on them." PETA obviously uses what we call emotional appeal in their arguments. So I must have your attention yet. Okay, well how about the pressing question: what happens to the Milos and Otis’, or Beatrice Potter’s very own Peter the Rabbit? Look at that comfy sweater hanging in your closet, or the 24-hour stain lipstick in your medicine cabinet, or maybe that candy bar sitting in your cabinet, waiting for your midnight snack. What pain has been inflicted for these simple gains?

According to PETA, "every year, millions of animals are killed for the clothing industry - all in the name of fashion.” Hanging on clothing racks in your favorite store are luxurious, simple pieces of fabrics; you probably don't automatically think "is this a product of a slaughterhouse?" Logically, of course, your eyes go straight to the price tag. But for once, let's ask another question: where does this clothing come from? Well, it originates from inhumanity, whether it's Chinese fur farms, Indian slaughterhouses, or the Australian outback - it doesn't matter. What matters is, "an immeasurable amount of suffering goes into every fur-trimmed jacket, leather belt, and wool sweater." Rabbits are skinned alive for their fur; birds and insects are exploited for fabric; every year, the global leather industry slaughters and tans animals' skins - alive; the multibillion-dollar meat industry not only profits from animals' flesh and organs, but also directly links to the sale of leather goods. Are those leather belts still as luxurious now?

Okay, so what about food? What about "becoming vegan?" There are countless reasons why people become vegan - dietary restrictions, allergies - but the most common happens to be for the sake of animals. Let's refer back to our good friend PETA: "From the meat industry's rampant abuse of animals and environmental devastation to the tremendous health benefits of a vegan diet to helping end world hunger and deplorable working conditions in slaughterhouses, there are countless reasons why more and more people are leaving meat off their plates for good and embracing a healthy and humane vegan diet." So why should you become vegan? Wait, no, why SHOULDN'T you become vegan? PETA's reasons: "because it's the only way to end world hunger (we funnel huge amounts of grain, soybeans, and corn through all the animals we use for food instead of feeding starving humans. If we stopped intensively breeding farmed animals and grew crops to feed humans instead, we could easily feed everyone on the planet with healthy and affordable vegetarian foods.); because the meat industry makes a KILLING by exploiting workers (The money-hungry farmed-animal industry exploits poor people, immigrants, and children. They work for paltry wages and are often unfairly penalized when they try to form unions. The work is filthy and extremely dangerous, injuries are rampant, and dying on the job is a very real possibility.)" According to figures from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly one in three slaughterhouse workers suffers from illness or injury every year, compared to one in 10 workers in other manufacturing jobs. The rate of repetitive stress injury for slaughterhouse employees is 35 times higher than it is for those in other manufacturing jobs. So by going vegan, not only are you benefiting your fellow animals, but also your health, and - let' face it, most importantly - OTHER HUMANS. Think about it, will you?

Last, but not least, you may assume that, maybe - just maybe - these precious beings have a happy ending. Rarely. Most animals - and I mean, in the 90% range - are euthanized after being tortured, if not already deceased from unimaginable, unbearable pain. Fortunately, devoted rescues and groups against animal testing have bailed as many animals out as possible. But that’s not so easy. They end up being charged with felonies, and land themselves in prison. They are made to be the perpetrator. Happy endings always have a cost in this twisted animal experimentation world.

Okay we got some facts in our brain. We know the damage and pain animal testing causes. But is it actually necessary? The ethical questions raised by performing experiments on animals are subject to much debate, and, according to Wikipedia, viewpoints have shifted significantly over the 20th century. "There remain disagreements about which procedures are useful for which purposes, as well as disagreements over which ethical principles apply to which species." On the other side of the debate, those in favor of animal testing held that experiments on animals were necessary to advance medical and biological knowledge. They could be right, but...there are other solutions! There are other ways! To name an important one: replications of human cells to test on. We have advanced so far in the past decades, and have come up with many more alternatives to testing on animals. So why are we still testing on animals? Maybe old habits really do die hard.

Scientists and governments state that animal testing should cause as little suffering to animals as possible, and that animal tests should only be performed where necessary. The "three Rs" are guiding principles for the use of animals in research in most countries: REPLACEMENT refers to the preferred use of non-animal methods over animal methods whenever it is possible to achieve the same scientific aim. Which, there are other methods that can achieve the same scientific aim. REDUCTION refers to methods that enable researchers to obtain comparable levels of information from fewer animals, or to obtain more information from the same number of animals. REFINEMENT refers to methods that alleviate or minimize potential suffering or distress, and enhance animal welfare for the animals still used. It may not be a lot, but it’s still a change. These ideas sound great but, what can you, a citizen, do? While we may not be able to change the law any time soon, in the meantime there are other things we can do to help these poor animals. One includes a change in lifestyle. Online, you can find many articles and lists of products from companies that do not test on animals. Buying these products results in boycotting. Another lifestyle change, as mentioned earlier, is changing your diet to exclude meats, or other foods that are a result of inhumane practices such as animal testing. Also, donating money or time to organizations such as PETA can result in a bigger community of "people for the ethical treatment of animals". There are many other ways you can help, you just have to find the right ones for you.

So what do you think? Do you believe animal testing is unethical? Or maybe you believe it is somewhat necessary. Even those who believe animal testing is necessary also take action steps in helping these animals out - cue the “three Rs.” Whatever your beliefs, you can still help suffering animals. As a nation, we should"No pain, no gain". But of course, we don't feel the pain when we buy that new shade of lipstick, or try that new long-lasting shampoo. We aren't tortured when we try out that new kitchen cleaner. But millions of animals are. And the results aren't even reliable. The results are tested on ANIMALS, who would obviously have a different reaction to chemicals than we would. Oh, the dogs don't get sick from that mascara, so humans must not as well. So, other than rarely being reliable, is animal testing necessary? Wait a second...what IS animal testing?

Animal testing, also known as animal experimentation, animal research, and in vivo testing (Latin for "within the living"), is the use of animals in experiments. These experiments can be conducted for many reasons, from medicine research, to studying effects of a cosmetic product. According to Wikipedia, it is estimated that, worldwide, up to 100 million of vertebrae animals - from zebrafish to primates - are used annually for experimentation. And that's just the vertebrae portion. Invertebrates, mice, rats, birds, fish, frogs, and animals not yet weaned are not included in the figures. Also, it seems the most commonly used animals are mice and rats - and they're not even included in the estimated 100 million animals that are used for testing! Think about that for a second. If you are familiar with animal testing, or have heard of it, the term "lab-rat" may come to your mind. And then you probably picture a maze with a block of cheese. In reality, mice get injected with tumors, and are often found dead many days post-mortem! Some may say "rats and mice don't have feelings" or "they're just little rodents." So, okay, maybe those little creatures don't pique your interest. Let's talk about the other victims. According to the organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), millions of rabbits, primates, cats, dogs (yes, millions of little Fidos and Lassies), "and other animals are locked inside cold, barren cages in laboratories across the country. They languish in pain, ache with loneliness, and long to roam free and use their minds. Instead, all they can do is sit and wait in fear of the next terrifying and painful procedure that will be performed on them." PETA obviously uses what we call emotional appeal in their arguments. So I must have your attention yet. Okay, well how about the pressing question: what happens to the Milos and Otis’, or Beatrice Potter’s very own Peter the Rabbit? Look at that comfy sweater hanging in your closet, or the 24-hour stain lipstick in your medicine cabinet, or maybe that candy bar sitting in your cabinet, waiting for your midnight snack. What pain has been inflicted for these simple gains?

According to PETA, "every year, millions of animals are killed for the clothing industry - all in the name of fashion.” Hanging on clothing racks in your favorite store are luxurious, simple pieces of fabrics; you probably don't automatically think "is this a product of a slaughterhouse?" Logically, of course, your eyes go straight to the price tag. But for once, let's ask another question: where does this clothing come from? Well, it originates from inhumanity, whether it's Chinese fur farms, Indian slaughterhouses, or the Australian outback - it doesn't matter. What matters is, "an immeasurable amount of suffering goes into every fur-trimmed jacket, leather belt, and wool sweater." Rabbits are skinned alive for their fur; birds and insects are exploited for fabric; every year, the global leather industry slaughters and tans animals' skins - alive; the multibillion-dollar meat industry not only profits from animals' flesh and organs, but also directly links to the sale of leather goods. Are those leather belts still as luxurious now?

Okay, so what about food? What about "becoming vegan?" There are countless reasons why people become vegan - dietary restrictions, allergies - but the most common happens to be for the sake of animals. Let's refer back to our good friend PETA: "From the meat industry's rampant abuse of animals and environmental devastation to the tremendous health benefits of a vegan diet to helping end world hunger and deplorable working conditions in slaughterhouses, there are countless reasons why more and more people are leaving meat off their plates for good and embracing a healthy and humane vegan diet." So why should you become vegan? Wait, no, why SHOULDN'T you become vegan? PETA's reasons: "because it's the only way to end world hunger (we funnel huge amounts of grain, soybeans, and corn through all the animals we use for food instead of feeding starving humans. If we stopped intensively breeding farmed animals and grew crops to feed humans instead, we could easily feed everyone on the planet with healthy and affordable vegetarian foods.); because the meat industry makes a KILLING by exploiting workers (The money-hungry farmed-animal industry exploits poor people, immigrants, and children. They work for paltry wages and are often unfairly penalized when they try to form unions. The work is filthy and extremely dangerous, injuries are rampant, and dying on the job is a very real possibility.)" According to figures from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly one in three slaughterhouse workers suffers from illness or injury every year, compared to one in 10 workers in other manufacturing jobs. The rate of repetitive stress injury for slaughterhouse employees is 35 times higher than it is for those in other manufacturing jobs. So by going vegan, not only are you benefiting your fellow animals, but also your health, and - let' face it, most importantly - OTHER HUMANS. Think about it, will you?

Last, but not least, you may assume that, maybe - just maybe - these precious beings have a happy ending. Rarely. Most animals - and I mean, in the 90% range - are euthanized after being tortured, if not already deceased from unimaginable, unbearable pain. Fortunately, devoted rescues and groups against animal testing have bailed as many animals out as possible. But that’s not so easy. They end up being charged with felonies, and land themselves in prison. They are made to be the perpetrator. Happy endings always have a cost in this twisted animal experimentation world.

Okay we got some facts in our brain. We know the damage and pain animal testing causes. But is it actually necessary? The ethical questions raised by performing experiments on animals are subject to much debate, and, according to Wikipedia, viewpoints have shifted significantly over the 20th century. "There remain disagreements about which procedures are useful for which purposes, as well as disagreements over which ethical principles apply to which species." On the other side of the debate, those in favor of animal testing held that experiments on animals were necessary to advance medical and biological knowledge. They could be right, but...there are other solutions! There are other ways! To name an important one: replications of human cells to test on. We have advanced so far in the past decades, and have come up with many more alternatives to testing on animals. So why are we still testing on animals? Maybe old habits really do die hard.

Scientists and governments state that animal testing should cause as little suffering to animals as possible, and that animal tests should only be performed where necessary. The "three Rs" are guiding principles for the use of animals in research in most countries: REPLACEMENT refers to the preferred use of non-animal methods over animal methods whenever it is possible to achieve the same scientific aim. Which, there are other methods that can achieve the same scientific aim. REDUCTION refers to methods that enable researchers to obtain comparable levels of information from fewer animals, or to obtain more information from the same number of animals. REFINEMENT refers to methods that alleviate or minimize potential suffering or distress, and enhance animal welfare for the animals still used. It may not be a lot, but it’s still a change. These ideas sound great but, what can you, a citizen, do? While we may not be able to change the law any time soon, in the meantime there are other things we can do to help these poor animals. One includes a change in lifestyle. Online, you can find many articles and lists of products from companies that do not test on animals. Buying these products results in boycotting. Another lifestyle change, as mentioned earlier, is changing your diet to exclude meats, or other foods that are a result of inhumane practices such as animal testing. Also, donating money or time to organizations such as PETA can result in a bigger community of "people for the ethical treatment of animals". There are many other ways you can help, you just have to find the right ones for you.

So what do you think? Do you believe animal testing is unethical? Or maybe you believe it is somewhat necessary. Even those who believe animal testing is necessary also take action steps in helping these animals out - cue the “three Rs.” Whatever your beliefs, you can still help suffering animals. As a nation, we should be the voice of these beautiful, loyal creatures and stop the pain! And believe me, we can still get the gain - in more ways than one. be the voice of these beautiful, loyal creatures and stop the pain! And believe me, we can still get the gain - in more ways than one.





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